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Learning to know what you like: A case study of repeated exposure to ethnic flavors

Song, Ryu-Ri, Chung, Seo-Jin, Cho, Sun Ah, Shin, Hye Won, Harmayani, Eni
Food quality and preference 2019 v.71 pp. 452-462
case studies, cluster analysis, correspondence analysis, learning, linear models, sensory evaluation, soybean paste, spinach, umami
This study investigated changes in the liking of seasoned food products with novel flavors among Indonesian consumers. Subjects were repeatedly exposed to kangkung (Indonesian-style stir-fried spinach) seasoned with four flavor variants of Korean fermented soybean paste: sweet, umami, hot and spicy, and fermented. Seventy-eight subjects completed the experiment, which consisted of three taste-test trials and four exposure conditioning sessions. Consumer taste tests were applied (1) at the beginning of the experiment, (2) immediately after the completion of four exposure conditioning sessions, and (3) 1 month after the second taste test. The liking ratings of the samples were evaluated as well as the reasons for liking and disliking them. General linear model analysis, general linear mixed model analysis for repeated measure, chi-square analysis, and correspondence analysis were applied to the data. Additionally, cluster analysis was performed to compare the acceptance levels and the drivers of liking in the two groups who had different overall liking baselines. The hedonic and perceptual discrimination abilities of the samples increased for the entire group as the repeated-exposure sessions progressed. Moreover, overall liking score increased with exposures for most of the samples. When consumers were clustered into two groups based on the similarity of their initial preferences for the samples, the initial heterogeneity of sample liking between the two groups decreased in the later stages of the taste-test trials. Stronger agreement between subjects was observed on the preferences for kangkung samples as a whole group after being repeatedly exposed to the samples.